Sep 30, 2009

Never a dull moment...

Life in our household is never boring. Recently someone commented to my sister how they would love to be a fly on the wall in our house. Having four women in one house does make for a lot of excitement and one cannot help but feel for my father...

Well, just last week we had ourselves a bit of what I guess one might call excitement. Dad was gone for the night and we had just locked down the house, which when mom is in charge that means double bolting doors checking the sliding doors both upstairs and down, closing all curtains and blinds, and locking the door leading to the garage.
So, we were all settled and I was just about to doze off into slumber when I heard a scream coming from my mom's bedroom where I knew Brooke and her were still up chatting.

I rolled over figuring I would just ignore them until I heard, "He fell out, oh gosh, Brooke, I don't think he could have made it!"

Okay, so now my curiosity was peaked, I jumped out of bed and ran out into the hallway to see my sisters and mom running to the deck door, opening it and running outside. I followed and pieced together from three frantic women that our cat, Midas, had fallen out the window in my parent's bedroom. Our house is a raised bi-level, making the back side more like a two story home. The window the cat fell out of was no small fall.

Brooke was already in hysterics and my mom was being oh-so-helpful, "Wow, that is a really high fall, I don't think..." her voice trailed.

Lauren dealt with it her way by taking control and running round the house yelling, "Miiiidaaas!"

Brooke stood under the window staring at the ground below and crying. The cat was nowhere to be seen...

Mom continued her practical rationalizing which did not seem to help Brooke, "Well, I don't see him, he probably dragged his injured body away to die. And if he isn't dead yet, he may have some internal bleeding from that high of a fall!"
I stood there barefoot and looked around at my two sisters and mom also standing outside barefoot and in their pajamas, some crying, some yelling, and some calmly rationalizing. It was 10:30 at night and I'm sure we looked quite comical to any nosy neighbors.
I tried reassuring Brooke that God created cats with the ability to withstand high falls and that if he were really dead we would see him lying under the window. The fact that we did not see him there was really a good thing. And by the way, who put the cat in the window. That question only got me some dumb looks.

While we stood there, Lauren came around the house with Midas in hand. We got back in the house and after they had all examined Midas, I started to laugh...Yes, life in my house is never without a dull moment!

Sep 24, 2009

What Autumn Means to Me...

Autumn...the season that marks the transition from summer to winter. The season in which the arrival of night becomes significantly earlier... Autumn, my absolute favorite season of the year! A very optimistic friend of mine, questioned my love for this time of year, "Why would you like fall, it only means that the most wonderful season is now over and the worst season is on its way? It's always dark and dreary and we can't wear flip flops any more..."
Ya, so maybe there are some down sides for some, but fall means a whole lot more to me. The crisp autumn weather will not require a big winter turtleneck or sweater, and tights will be enough to keep me warm. Fall means sipping hot tea and making sugar cookies shaped like leaves and turkeys. Fall means apples are ready to be picked at the orchards and hot piping apple crisp to be eaten. Choosing the perfect pumpkin and planting harvest mums. Driving to work as the sun comes up over the trees accenting the bright array of fall colors and feeling so very blessed to be alive and able to enjoy God's beautiful creation.

Some pictures of us enjoying this season
by playing in the leaves...

Align Center
This is what autumn means to me...

Sep 23, 2009

We're off to see the Wizard!!!

Another pretty eventful week has left me unable to update my blog... This weekend Chesterton hosted its annual Wizard of Oz Festival, complete with the one surviving lollipop kid and his wife, as well as four other original munchkins and L Frank Baum's great grandson!!! Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this grand happening all though I did "celebrate" at work. On Thursday and Friday we had Oz Days where the children were welcome to dress like their favorite
character while it was mandatory that the teachers dress up both days. We had fun coloring pictures of Oz characters, getting face paintings, painting nails, and watching the movie. My favorite character is probably one of the flying monkeys, but unfortunately I couldn't find the
costume...;) So...I ended up being a lollipop kid on Thursday...

I received alot of strange looks from the unaware parents who failed
to read their child's school calendar. I even had some puzzled expressions
from the children wondering what in the world I was!

Day two I opted for the Wicked Witch of the West; I figured there would be no questioning what I was. One little boy who usually greets me with a hug failed to do so, so I approached him and was trying to get him to smile. He looked at me strangely until another child ran by and pulled off my hat. "Ohhh, you're Miss Nickel," he said with surprise. Not long after I told the children to clean up for breakfast the same little boy came up to me pulled on my skirt and said, "C'mon, Miss Nickel it's time to clean up. You need to put away dress-up now..." I don't think he
liked my outfit!

Here are some pictures of my adorable kiddos in their costumes!

Tyler the Scarecrow

Shay the Cowardly Lion

Ava as Dorothy

Painting nails!

Caysen the Tin Man

Sep 12, 2009


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Fifty years ago, on September 8, Joseph Vincent LaBate was born to Vincent and Anne LaBate in Harrison, New York. This week, we celebrated his birth and amazing life that God has given him thus far. On Monday night, we unwrapped gifts and had his birthday dinner. On his actual birth date (Tuesday) I brought lunch (George's Gyros) to him at work. Our family celebration was kept pretty low key and I could tell that dad was just alittle disappointed; after all, he is still a child at heart and he wanted more hoopla over his 50th! But, unbeknownst to him we did have alittle party planned for him...

We invited about 6 other couples to our house for a surprise party on Friday at 6:30 pm. The only problem was keeping dad at work until we come up with a plan. We decided that we would strand him at work with no car until Brooke could pick him up when she got off after 6:00, and then she would drive slow and stall for time to get him at the house after 6:30. So that is exactly what we did, only we had a small problem...Dad started persistently calling and wanting picked up at approximately 4:30. I ignored the first two calls to my cell phone, but then I knew I finally had to answer. I told him that I was unable to pick him up because I was on my way out the door to work out, but that I would leave a note for mom (who he thought was at work, but really was at the house getting ready for his party) to pick him up when she got home. Mom finally called him at 5:15 and told him that she had ran to the store after work and couldn't he just wait until alittle after 6 for Brooke to get him??? Well, Dad was not too happy at all, he did wait but not so very patiently. Brooke took her time in picking him up and when she got him, he peevishly said, "This family needs to learn how to communicate!" If he only knew how much we were communicating to get this thing worked out...:)

Brooke did her job well with the stalling and with taking the brunt of his reprimanding and got him to the house at about 6:35. All the guests greeted the cantankerous birthday boy with a hearty, "Surprise!" Dad was really truly surprise and we were so very lucky that we had a good excuse for keeping him at work 2 hours later than he wanted to be!


Make a wish!

Unwrapping gifts

Happy Birthday, Daddy, we love you!

Sep 9, 2009

School Days...

It's that time of the year again...pencils, glue sticks, erasers, markers, crayons, notebooks, day planners... And my personal favorites-paper clips and sticky notes, two things I can never have enough of! Back to school shopping, an activity that has been a favorite of mine ever since I was enrolled in half-day kindergarten. Each August would come around and my sisters and I would dig out our school bags, see if they were usable for another year, and then make a list of all the supplies we would be needing.
I remember when I was going into third grade the supply list suddenly changed...gone was the three inch lined paper, now we could use wide ruled notebook paper and we also could purchase mechanical pencils and red pens. The "new" thing on the supply list for 5th grade was white out! I remember how quickly I went through that first bottle of white out and not understanding why my parents wouldn't purchase me a second bottle. Didn't they know crossing out mistakes was not near as cool as whiting them out, and hey it conserved paper, right?
Junior High came and day planners were the big thing; I had to make sure I had just the right one. I think I can pinpoint my infatuation with organizers back to that year...
High school years came and now I was required to use a calculator for any math classes; it was convenient but I still felt as if somehow I was cheating.
You would have thought that by the time I got to college I would have know not looked at school shopping as an actual summer activity. But...I did not. In fact I still have not. This year was the first summer in which I did not have to go school shopping. This was the first week of the school year in which I did not pack my school bag with my favorite brand of pens, lots of paper clips, colorful sticky notes, an expandable file, or spiral notebooks. It is the first year that I am not filling my organizer with all my class project's due dates. I recently found myself looking at Brooke's College list of events and jotting them down in my calendar, even though they do not apply any longer. Yes, I miss the school shopping. I find myself passing down the school aisle at every store I enter, looking for that great find-colorful pencil grips, a mini stapler, cute thumbtacks...
But even more than the school shopping, I think I even miss school. Before you think me completely weird, I do not miss the tests, the quizzes, and I hardly even miss the boring lectures. What I miss most is the projects. Projects that I devoted hours to and when it was all said and done learned something new and interesting because I had done some real research. I miss the satisfaction of receiving that paper or project back and getting not a satisfactory grade, but rather one that I knew I had sweat and stand up late for. When Brooke came back from her first day of classes yesterday and was sitting on the couch with her class requirements and project dates, jotting them in her planner, I jealously sat across from her with my day planner in hand wishing I could fill mine up with more than my work schedule and ministry duties.
And so, the school year has come once again only this time I am being left out... I'm beginning to think that a Master's Degree isn't such a bad idea...

Sep 5, 2009

And Patience was willing to wait...

I longed to walk along an easy road,
And leave behind the dull routine of home,
Thinking in other fields to serve my God;
But Jesus said, "My time has not yet come."

I longed to sow the seed in other soil,
To be unfettered in the work, and free,
To join with other laborers in their toil;
But Jesus said, "Tis not My choice for thee."

I longed to leave the desert, and be led
To work where souls were sunk in sin and shame,
That I might win them; but the Master said,
"I have not called thee, publish here My name."

I longed to fight the battles of my King,
Lift high His standards in the thickest strife;
But my great Captain bade me wait and sing
Songs of His conquests in my quiet life.

I longed to leave the uncongenial sphere,
Where all alone I seemed to stand and wait,
To feel I had some human helper near,
But Jesus bade me guard one lonely gate.

I longed to leave the round of daily toil,
Where no one seemed to understand or care;
But Jesus said, "I choose for thee this soil,
That thou might'st raise for Me some blossoms rare."

And now I have no longing but to do
At home, or else afar, His blessed will,
To work amid the many or the few;
Thus, "choosing not to choose," my heart is still.


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